Protesters bring Louis Trichardt to a standstill for one hour

Hundreds march demanding better services from government

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Photo of a protest march

Protesters marched from the N1 to Makhado Municipality to demand better services from government. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

Louis Trichardt came to a standstill for almost an hour on Tuesday when residents from Sinthumule and Kutama villages, singing and blowing vuvuzelas, marched from the N1 to the Makhado Municipality offices demanding better services.

Shops shuttered their doors. Workers and street hawkers cheered the marchers, some even joined.

This follows a picket by the Zoutpansberg Community Development Forum on Monday.

The protesters wanted Limpopo MEC for Public Works Nkakareng Rakgoale to receive the memorandum, but she did not avail herself.

“We are surprised she did not honour her promise,” said Maphaha Mashamba, chairperson of Dzanani 2 Taxi Association, who claims the MEC agreed to receive the memo at a meeting on Sunday.

He said they have had years of fruitless meetings with public works to complete and fix the D3715 road. They want her fired.

However, Witness Tiva, spokesperson for Limpopo public works said the MEC had said at the meeting that the mayor would receive the memorandum as she had a prior commitment.

Residents of Sinthumule, Kutama and Tshikota are also demanding to see the national minister for water and sanitation within a month as their taps often run dry and some areas have been without water for years.

According to the protesters, in the 2020/21 budget, the municipality had allocated R2-million for refurbishing boreholes in Sinthumule, Kutama, Tshiozwi and Madodonga. But forum chair Patrick Sikhutse says they have seen no evidence of this and many residents have to buy water.

Villagers also complain that the Makhado drivers licence testing centre closed three years ago and they have to travel 30km to Dzanani. They want it reopened.

They also want the National Energy Regulator to intervene as they say the municipality is charging too much and they’d prefer to pay Eskom directly.

The protesters waited for almost an hour but the MEC failed to appear.

Sikhutse read out the memorandum. Former mayor Samuel Munyai received the memorandum and Mayor Dorcus Mboyi signed it.

The forum demanded the municipality respond within 14 days.

Mboyi said the municipality is busy addressing the electricity issue. She referred water issues to Vhembe District Municipality and road issues to the Limpopo government.

TOPICS:  Local government Transport Water

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